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OK Governor Requests Federal Disaster Declaration

Firefighter removing another out a window via a ladder

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday requested a federal major disaster declaration from last month’s ice storm that caused an estimated $27 million in damages in 13 central Oklahoma counties.

Stitt said in a press release that additional counties could be added in coming weeks as more damage assessments are conducted. If approved, federal funding would reimburse local cities, counties, tribes and rural electric cooperatives for some storm-related costs. The counties included in the request are: Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Dewey, Grady, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Noble, Oklahoma, Payne, Pottawatomie and Roger Mills.

“The combination of three days of freezing rain and an early fall time period made this ice storm especially destructive to a large portion of our state,” said Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Mark Gower.

As many as 500,000 Oklahoma homes and businesseslost power when the late October storm iced over trees that crashed through powerlines and blocked roadways. One electric utility official described the storm as a “worst nightmare”for many Oklahomans, some of whom lost power for more than a week.